Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

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Anonymous User
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Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:34 pm

I'm just starting my 3L year at a T14 and have a good firm job lined up for after graduation. I am on LR (grade-on) and had an ok 2L year. If I duplicate my 2L year I will just squeeze into the lowest honors category for graduation. While I don't plan to stop trying completely, I would like to hear what other people think about the importance of grades/graduation honors when it comes to lateraling. I'm thinking I might want to try to transfer from the major market I'm starting in to a different major market in 3-5 years if possible (and would like to get into another decent firm when that time comes). Not that it probably matters, but I'm doing corporate.

It seems unlikely that firms would closely examine transcripts when hiring laterals, but graduation honors would be right on the resume. Any anecdotes, opinions, etc?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:43 pm

Firms will ask for a transcript, but grades matter less the further you're out. At year 3+, your firm and experience will be far, far more determinative.

anon168
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby anon168 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm just starting my 3L year at a T14 and have a good firm job lined up for after graduation. I am on LR (grade-on) and had an ok 2L year. If I duplicate my 2L year I will just squeeze into the lowest honors category for graduation. While I don't plan to stop trying completely, I would like to hear what other people think about the importance of grades/graduation honors when it comes to lateraling. I'm thinking I might want to try to transfer from the major market I'm starting in to a different major market in 3-5 years if possible (and would like to get into another decent firm when that time comes). Not that it probably matters, but I'm doing corporate.

It seems unlikely that firms would closely examine transcripts when hiring laterals, but graduation honors would be right on the resume. Any anecdotes, opinions, etc?


Yes, they always matter.

Having hired for biglaw and the government, and having lateraled twice in my career, I can tell you that grades matter. Maybe less as your vintage increases, but they always matter.

Search my posts and posts by "Bruce Wayne" for threads on this.

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ExBiglawAssociate
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby ExBiglawAssociate » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:10 pm

Honors at a T14 should be enough to lateral to the vast majority of firms and/or government positions. People who graduate with below median grades are the ones who should really worry.

Myself
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Myself » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:11 pm

Yes.

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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:16 pm

What about something that is not a bad grade, but just a withdrawal (if the transcript explains that this has nothing to do with performance)?

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Old Gregg
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What about something that is not a bad grade, but just a withdrawal (if the transcript explains that this has nothing to do with performance)?


I bet you the firm won't spend more than two seconds looking at your transcript. They won't care.

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thesealocust
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:17 pm

No.

Your career after law school is going to be based on your abilities as a lawyer, your abilities to network, the reputation of your legal employer(s), and the practice group you wind up in.

People who are considering paying you to do legal work for you are going to care about a lot of factors, how well you did on pointless exams years ago will not rank.

Many if not most legal employers even hate using grades to make hiring decisions fresh out of law school, there's just not much else to go on.

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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:28 pm

A lawyer at Gibson Dunn DC told me that even some potential partner laterals had been rejected because of bad grades.

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Old Gregg
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Old Gregg » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:A lawyer at Gibson Dunn DC told me that even some potential partner laterals had been rejected because of bad grades.


That's because it's Gibson Dunn.

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ben4847
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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby ben4847 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:31 pm

This has been discussed numerous times. Intuitively, they should not matter, but people report that they have mattered.

Same with post SA offers.

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Re: Do Grades Matter When Trying To Lateral?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:11 am

Anonymous User wrote:A lawyer at Gibson Dunn DC told me that even some potential partner laterals had been rejected because of bad grades.


Gibson Dunn has hard GPA cutoffs for each law school below which they usually won't hire without approval from some special committee. At UVA, I believe this cutoff was 3.4.




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